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Pennsylvania’s Largest Cities

When thinking about Pennsylvania, images of rolling hills, historic landmarks, and rich cultural heritage often come to mind. The state is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, dotted with quaint towns and verdant farmland, creating a serene backdrop that seems frozen in time. 

The Gettysburg Battlefield, Amish Country, and countless Revolutionary War sites speak volumes about the state’s pivotal role in American history. However, the Keystone State is also home to bustling urban centers that contribute significantly to its charm and economy. 

These cities are vibrant hubs of activity, blending historical significance with contemporary advancements.

Pennsylvania’s largest cities by population, such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, are economic powerhouses that drive the state’s growth and development. 

These urban areas are characterized by their dynamic economies, cultural diversity, and rich histories that continue to shape their identities. 

The diversity and vibrancy of these cities make them particularly appealing, and many people love moving there for the myriad of opportunities and experiences they offer. Often, they rely on a trusted moving company to ensure a smooth transition to their new urban homes.


Philadelphia commonly referred to as Philly tops the list as Pennsylvania’s most populous city. With more than 1.6 million inhabitants, Philadelphia is not just any other city but an embodiment of American history itself. 

The home to Liberty Bell – Independence Hall where the Declaration Of Independence was signed, and Hill (Philadelphia Museum Of Art), yes you remember that movie “Rocky” has a few scenes taken there- this is what I call history! 

However, this depiction does not fit into present-day Philadelphia at all. This city will stun you with its numerous eating houses regardless of your dietary requirements, tastes, and preferences; it has attractive streets filled with various types of food establishments that range from $5 meal shops up to luxurious hotels serving international cuisines. 

For instance, Fishtown and Northern Liberties were transformed from industrial areas to trendy centers with fashionable bars, restaurants, and galleries. 

Even the sports culture in Philly is very vibrant with the Eagles team (NFL), Phillies team (MLB), 76ers basketball (NBA) and Flyers hockey (NHL) – Philadelphia embraces a sports culture.


The city of Pittsburgh, which ranks second among Pennsylvania’s cities by population, has undergone an incredible change since its days as one of the major steel manufacturing centers to the present day when it is recognized as a center for education, healthcare, and technology. 

Pittsburgh is widely known today for its innovative spirit and scenic beauty unlike before when it was renowned as a steel-producing city.

With just over a population of 300 thousand people, this city has maintained high standards of life because of the availability of jobs that pay well and low cost of living. 

For example, Shadyside, Lawrenceville neighborhood as well as Strip District have always been full of energy alongside diversity regarding eating options. 

The cultural scene in Pittsburgh is also equally impressive considering institutions such as the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Andy Warhol Museum, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.


The 3rd largest city in Pennsylvania, Allentown is a melting pot of cultures and communities. Its population of just under 125,000 has seen significant growth and revitalization over the last few years. There has been a rebirth of downtown with new businesses, restaurants, and entertainment establishments.

Moreover, there is the PPL Center which is a multi-purpose arena hosting concerts and ice hockey games among others. Such parks as Trexler Memorial Park and Lehigh Parkway are beautiful green spaces where one can relax or engage in recreational activities while in Allentown. 

With its diverse population; it offers various cultural events and festivals that make living or visiting it an enjoyable experience.


Situated on Lake Erie’s southern shore; Erie is Pennsylvania’s fourth-largest city by population. Erie with approximately 95,000 inhabitants balances both natural beauty and urban advantages. The location of the city by Lake Erie means beautiful waterfront views for residents as well as numberless ways to enjoy leisure time such as boating, fishing, and swimming at Presque Isle State Park.

In contrast to its traditional orientation towards manufacturing, Erie has adopted a more diversified economic base whereby healthcare, education, and tourism have been incorporated along with commercial manufacturing activities. In present times however, the downtown area which boasts some historical buildings that have been partially replaced by modern architecture such as the Bicentennial Tower or the Erie Maritime Museum explains better how far they have come.


Reading is Pennsylvania’s fifth largest city with about 90k people living there who describe it as an up-and-coming place on earth moving upward. Historically known for its manufacturing sector inclination but then experienced economic difficulties before bouncing back through community actions and town regeneration schemes.

In terms of arts and culture, Reading has considerable diversity highlighted through institutions like Reading Public Museum or GoggleWorks Center for Arts which have a variety of showpieces and programs among other things available to citizens there whereas Pagoda is an attractive Japanese-style edifice located on a mount atop Mount Penn; it offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding locales. Its rich cultural heritage can be experienced at the annual Reading Fair as well as during several ethnic festivals.


Scranton, known as “The Electric City,” is Pennsylvania’s sixth-largest city with a population of around 76,000 people. “The Electric City” actually refers to Scranton’s pioneering role in electric-powered public transportation. The town continues to earn admiration for its warm community spirit, historic value, and exciting cultural offerings.

This name has been commonly associated with the popular TV program – The Office; nonetheless, it would be wrong to consider Dunder Mifflin as solely representative of this city. Steamtown National Historic Site, Electric City Trolley Museum, and Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour are just three of such sites that offer glimpses into Scranton’s industrial past. 

It is a very active place with lots of things to do downtown including shopping at eclectic shops housed in historic buildings or dining at any restaurant there.


Bethlehem is often referred to as ” The Christmas City” and is the seventh most populous city in Pennsylvania with about 75,000 people residing there. It got its name from the high number of Moravian settlers and their famous Christmas markets where tourists from all over the world go during this festive season.

Bethlehem’s historic district boasts charming 18th-century buildings, exclusive boutiques, and cozy cafes. SteelStacks is a ten-acre arts and cultural campus located on the former Bethlehem Steel plant site that hosts year-round concerts, festivals, and other events. This youthful vibe is supported by its educational institutions including Moravian College and Lehigh University.


The eighth largest town in Pennsylvania having about sixty thousand inhabitants, Lancaster County also serves as its capital. This city has a unique combination of rural ambience alongside urban lifestyle thus making it an attractive place for both tourists and residents.

There are several attractions in downtown Lancaster such as a vibrant art scene, a variety of restaurants, and shops.

One must make a point to visit Central Market which happens to be the oldest continually operating farmers’ market in America if they want to have a feel of local flavors here. Outside the city limits, picturesque Amish farmlands give an impression of a simple life with options that include buggy rides or tours around farms where one can purchase homemade crafts among other items.


Harrisburg amongst the largest cities in Pennsylvania is situated along the Susquehanna River just like many others serving as state capitals. With a population size of approximately fifty thousand people, Harrisburg may seem insignificant compared to some other cities however it plays pivotal roles within Pennsylvania politics and economics.

Harrisburg’s location along the Susquehanna River adds beauty to historical sites found there as well as government buildings such as Pennsylvania State Capitol whose architecture astonishes everyone who sees it inside out. 

Whitaker Center for Science and Arts, Pennsylvania National Fire Museum, and some others are some of the cultural attractions in the city offering diverse forms of education and entertainment. Today, Harrisburg’s downtown area is bustling with restaurants, shops, and entertainment establishments thus making it an attractive place for both residents and visitors.


This is the tenth-largest city in Pennsylvania with a population of around 45,000 people. The nickname “The White Rose City” comes from York’s historical link to England’s House of York. 

York’s well-preserved architecture as well as many other notable historical sites can tell its long history. It was rather significant during the American Revolution as it became a temporary capital for the Continental Congress. 

Appell Center for Performing Arts and York County History Center are among the organizations with numerous programs in arts and culture that contribute to vibrant life in this town. 

The annual fair, traditionally held each September, remains one of America’s oldest fairs that brings people from across regions to enjoy various shows including agriculture displays and food vending.


Pennsylvania’s most populated cities have something different for everyone, a combination of the old and the new that makes them interesting places to visit or reside. 

From the busy life in Philadelphia to the coolness of Erie’s beaches, these cities are part of Pennsylvania’s colorful mosaic. Whether you love historical sites, fine art, or people diversity, Pennsylvania is a place where everyone would find their bit.

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